Sunshine Coast Birds

Birding and other wildlife experiences from the Sunshine Coast and elsewhere in Australia - and from overseas - with scribblings about travel, environmental issues, kayaking, hiking and camping.

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Large-tailed Nightjar & Rainbow Beach

Large-tailed Nightjar
 Large-tailed Nightjar was the avian highlight of a three-day camping trip to Rainbow Beach, which included forays to the Cooloola section of the Great Sandy World Heritage Area and to Inskip Point.

Large-tailed Nightjar
We camped at Carlo Point outside Rainbow Bay. Three Large-tailed Nightjars were frequenting a belt of thick coastal scrub along the camping ground's northern boundary. The birds began calling soon after dusk and vocalised sporadically throughout the night.

Large-tailed Nightjar
One nightjar had 4 or 5 favoured perches, mainly atop dead twigs high in the canopy, which it visited repeatedly. I found after a while that I could easily track the bird to one of its regular perches but it was shy, usually flying off as soon as the torch was on it.

Large-tailed Nightjar
The nightjars were foraging mainly in wallum woodland immediately to the north of the belt of thick scrub, although they occasionally frequented open areas in the northern and eastern sectors of the camping ground, and in nearby mangroves.  Birds were seen on the ground a couple of times but mostly they perched in trees and bushes. Large-tailed Nightjar is a rare bird in South-East Queensland. It has been recorded on a handful of occasions in this region: at Boonooroo, Inskip Point and Teewah Creek. Other than two records from the Sunshine Coast, these are the southern most sites known for this widely distributed species,

Cooloola Coloured Sands
 Midges are bad here so be prepared. The sunsets help make up for it, as do views of the coloured sands from Rainbow Beach.

Sunset Great Sandy Strait
A pair of Bush Stone-Curlews were sitting on eggs in an open area of lawn a few metres from a busy carpark.

Bush Stone-Curlew defending nest
Collared Kingfisher and Mangrove Honeyeater are generally in mangroves but both were easy to see in the camping ground.

Collared Kingfisher
Rainbow Bee-eaters were nesting around the camping ground and commonly throughout the area. A full list of Pt Carlo birds is here.

Rainbow Bee-Eaters
A Squirrel Glider was seen at dusk from our camp.

Squirrel Glider
At Inskip Point, I saw a female Black-breasted Buttonquail briefly before she disappeared into bracken in a small area with fresh platelets about 200m before the end of the traditional site track. I checked out other spots where I'd seen birds previously but found only old platelets; possibly the population here is declining (see following post for a recent encounter near Imbil). Rose-crowned Fruit-Dove and Fairy Gerygone were among other birds present at Inskip Point. Not much at high tide at the end of the point: a smattering of Gull-billed and Caspian Terns among a big Crested Tern flock, with a few Eastern Curlews, Whimbrels and Grey-tailed Tattlers.

Caspian Terns

Noosa Plain
I saw a Common Bronzewing along Cooloola Way, a species I've not seen previously in the Cooloola region. It was a few hundred metres from where I had previously seen Brush Bronzewings.

Common Bronzewing
No sign of Ground Parrot or Southern Emu-Wren on the Noosa Plain but a pair of Lewin's Rain were calling from the sedges, and a Little Bronze Cuckoo was looking good in the wallum woodland. The plain was ablaze with the wildflowers of Spring.

Little Bronze Cuckoo
Leaden Flycatchers, the first of the summer migrants to return to South-East Queensland, were vocal and common. See here for Cooloola bird list.

Leaden Flycatcher

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